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Bucs prepare for Lions’ attack | Football
KINGSTON — The Lynden Lions make mistakes like any other football team.
If a mistake happens, Lions’ head coach Curt Kramme said the team needs to get past it and focus on the next play.
“We’ll just try to line up another play,” Kramme said. “Not focus on the outcome, but what’s in front of us.”
On Friday (Nov. 15), however, the Lions will be up against a team that capitalizes on mistakes. They face the Kingston Buccaneers in the first round of the state playoffs. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Civic Stadium in Bellingham.
The Bucs earned their way to State with a 7-0 win over the Franklin Pierce Cardinals, Nov. 9. A failed snap by the Cardinals in the third quarter was recovered by Kingston’s Ian Langsdorf on the Cardinals’ 3-yard line; resulting in a touchdown shortly after.
The recovery on the snap by the Bucs reminded Kingston head coach Todd Harder of the win over the North Kitsap Vikings last season during the Pillage and Plunder Bowl, when Mikole Hendricks blocked a punt and ran it in for a touchdown. Harder said capitalizing on their opponents’ mistakes is the plan.
“That’s really what we’re striving to do this week,” Harder said. “Don’t make mistakes, and let Lynden do something to take them out of their rhythm.”
So far this season, the Lions have done well at overcoming adversity. They are undefeated in the Northwest Conference, 10-0. The Lions are the Northwest champions and 2A District 1/2 champions, after defeating Sultan 35-7 Nov. 8.
Kramme said last year’s Lions was one of, if not the best, team the school has had; Kramme has coached for 23 years. The varsity team this season is still riding on the experiences from last season; many players who moved up had the opportunity to work with the former varsity team.
The 2012-13 Lynden Lions were the 2A champions. The Lions defeated Tumwater 41-7 in the championship Dec. 1, 2012.
Though the Lions are 10-0, Harder said the Bucs “don’t believe they are the team they were last year. So we think we have a shot.”
It is the second appearance at State in program history for the Bucs, who lost out on the Olympic League title but then turned it around to be the only team from the league in the state playoffs. The North Kitsap Vikings were eliminated by Orting 37-14 on Nov. 8. The Olympic Trojans were eliminated by Lindbergh 20-0. The North Mason Bulldogs lost 24-14 to White River.
The 2012-13 Buccaneers lost 26-9 to Sumner in the first round of state playoffs.
Harder said the Bucs’ defense is capable to “rise to the occasion” in order to keep the game close. The Bucs are a little bruised up form the game against the Cardinals — Josh Iles is out for now. But overall they’re healthy.
It’s anyone’s game.
Kramme doesn’t have any expectations.
“The only thing I predict is we’re going to be there and we’re going to play hard,” he said.
And though the Lions are well-coached and have a big roster, Harder is optimistic.
“They’re as good of a program in the state as there is, but this is our best team ever,” Harder said.
Vikes eliminated in Districts
The North Kitsap Vikings’ postseason run ended abruptly with a 37-14 loss to Orting Nov. 8.
The loss eliminated the Vikings from an appearance at State. Orting earned the No. 1 seed in the state playoffs.
The Vikings were the top team in the Olympic League, earning the league title with a 7-0 record. The team was 7-3 overall.
Orting will face White River on Friday (Nov. 15) at Tumwater High School.